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Quick Facts: Education - Special Ed Industry

Median Pay:   $55,532 per year | $27 per hour
Entry-Level Education:   Bachelor's degree

Education - Special Ed Occupations:

  • Special education teachers, kindergarten and elementary school$54,570
  • Special education teachers, middle school$56,760
  • Special education teachers, secondary school$57,810
  • Special education teachers, all other$54,520
  • Special education teachers, preschool$54,000

Online Special Education Degrees

Special education refers to the care, attention and teaching that students with physical, mental or psychological disabilities need in an educational setting. These students often struggle in traditional classroom settings and require additional assistance in order to better assimilate and learn in school.

With a degree in special education, you can make a real difference in the lives of children and teenagers while simultaneously enjoying a stable career and wonderful benefits. If you are interested in pursuing an online degree in special education, read on to learn more about the degrees offered, the career paths you can choose from after education, what it takes to succeed in this field and how studying online can better prepare you for employment.

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Compare These Top-Rated Accredited Colleges For Online Special Education Degrees...

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4 Program(s) Found
  • Provides lifetime career search assistance for all graduates.
  • Engages in partnerships with numerous organizations, such as the Portland Hotel Society, Provincial Outreach Program for Autism and Related Disorders (POPARD), and Lookout Emergency Aid Society.
  • Offers scholarships and bursaries to qualifying students.
  • Gives a free College English Preparatory program to enrolling students.
  • Accredited by the Private Career Training Institutions Agency (PCTIA).
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    5 Program(s) Found
    • Get your master’s degree in just 14 months!
    • Earn your Ed.D. fully online in less than four years
    • Achieve an advanced degree on your schedule, from the comfort of your home
    • Use research-based best practices to have a more powerful impact on education
    • Further your education through affordable financial aid and competitive tuition
    • Scholarships, grants and other forms of financial aid may also be available to help students with their tuition.
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    Good for Working Adults
    • Online Courses
    • Flexible Scheduling
    • Accelerated Programs
    • Financial Aid
    • Transferable Credits
    2 Program(s) Found
    • Instructors are industry-experienced professionals who offer their real-world expertise and give you insight into the current job market.
    • Offers career placement assistance, helping students prepare their resume, conduct job searches, and find employment after graduation.
    • Class sizes range from 10-25 students at a time allowing for more one-on-one instruction.
    • Curriculum developed and based on input from professionals in the areas of business, education, healthcare, art and design, legal studies, and various trades.
    • 6 campus locations across British Columbia.
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      5 Program(s) Found

      An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so what you’re learning is immediately applicable to your career. Right now, more than 36,000 students are expanding their opportunities with Capella programs.

      • Online Courses
      • Financial Aid
      • Transferable Credits
      5 Program(s) Found
      • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
      • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
      • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
      • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
      • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
      • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
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      • Online Courses
      • Financial Aid
      • Transferable Credits
      5 Program(s) Found
      • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
      • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
      • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
      • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
      • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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      Good for Working Adults
      • Online Courses
      • Flexible Scheduling
      • Financial Aid
      • Transferable Credits
      3 Program(s) Found
      South College , Knoxville

      At South College we welcome students from all different stages of life and career.  Whether you are pursing a degree for the first time, going back to school as an adult learner, or furthering your career with an advanced degree, our faculty and staff will partner with you to give your dreams direction.

      Good for Working Adults
      • Accredited
      • Flexible Scheduling
      • Financial Aid
      2 Program(s) Found
      • Ranked one of the Best for Vets schools in Military Times Edge magazine’s 2013 “Best for Vets” edition.
      • Offers MUSE (My Unique Student Experience), a content delivery system that gives students the option to watch, view, read or listen to required course materials.
      • Allows students to complete courses at whatever pace they want.
      • Provides IntelliPath, a proprietary learning technology that lets students learn at their own pace.
      • A DANTES-affiliated university and member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges.
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      Good for Working Adults
      • Online Courses
      • Flexible Scheduling
      • Financial Aid
      • Transferable Credits
      4 Program(s) Found
      • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
      • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
      • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
      • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
      • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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        2 Program(s) Found
        Brenau University , Gainesville
        • Ranked among the 2015 Best Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report.
        • Ranked among the 2015 Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report.
        • Challenging students to live extraordinary lives of personal and professional fulfillment since 1878.
        • Offers programs in business, communication, education, humanities, fine arts, health sciences, and graduate studies.
        • Provides on-campus housing options and study abroad programs for students.
        • Campus features several academic centers for students, including The Writing Center and the Study Place for Achievement (SPA).
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        Good for Working Adults
        • Accredited
        • Flexible Scheduling
        • Accelerated Programs
        • Financial Aid
        • Transferable Credits

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        Available Special Education Degrees

        Those who want to pursue a career in special education will have their choice of several degrees including am associate degree, a bachelor's degree, a master's degree and a doctorate. An associate degree takes just two years to complete, but it will not be sufficient to work as a special education teacher in most schools. However, it will prepare you for assisting specific students, or can be a base on which you can study further.

        A bachelor's degree will take roughly four years to complete, and prepare students for careers as special education teachers in both elementary and secondary schools. A recognized license is typically required along with a bachelor's degree for most positions.

        A master's degree in special education is a great way to command the best jobs in the field, and will take an additional two years beyond the bachelor's degree. While a doctorate is not necessary for most educational positions, it is vital for research careers in special education.

        Career Paths for Special Education Degree Holders

        With a degree in special education, graduates will have a number of different positions to choose from. With an associate degree, students can work as an aide or an assistant for individual children in the school system.

        With a bachelor's degree or master's degree, graduates can pursue careers in private or public schools as classroom teachers for special needs students. Outside of the traditional classroom setting, special education degree holders might work as art therapists, speech language pathologists or even an educational diagnostician.

        Advantages of Online Special Education Degrees

        By studying for an online special education degree at any level, you can work full time while studying, enjoy lower tuition fees, avoid long commutes and expensive gas refills, have direct communication with professors and enjoy the flexibility of online learning.

        Although in decades past employers may have been wary to hire individuals with online degrees, the rapid advancement of technology now means that online education is just as recognized as traditional college campus education. As long as you have a few spare hours each week, access to a computer and a connection to the Internet, you can work on pursuing your special education degree from home.

        Attributes of Successful Special Education Professionals

        The special education professionals who make the biggest impact on the lives of their students are the ones with plenty of patience, excellent communication skills, a thorough knowledge of alternative teaching methods, compassion and a calm demeanor.

        If you have a quick temper or get frustrated easily, this may not be the career choice for you. Working with students in special education requires compassion, kindness and a stress-free environment in order for students to best learn new information and feel safe in their surroundings.

        If you want to enjoy the financial benefits of a career in special education as well as the incredible fulfillment on these positions, then enroll in an online special education degree program today.

        Much of the coursework completed for a special education degree will overlap with a standard education degree. Additional coursework and focused student teaching aimed at providing the in-depth expertise necessary to effectively educate children with special needs are also part of the curriculum.

        Schools across the country are in need of teachers with the special skills to manage classrooms of students with unique educational needs. Individuals with special education expertise are also in demand in the education policy-making arena.